Industry Canada Radio Licence Applications and Fees

Lower Mainland Office
13401 – 108 Avenue, Suite 1700
Surrey BC V3T 5V6
Tel: 604-586-2521
Fax: 604-586-2528
(By appointment only)

Download Your Free Application Form Here


Under the Radiocommunication Act, the Minister of Industry is responsible for the orderly development of radiocommunication in Canada. The Minister does this by ensuring orderly deployment and efficient operation of radio stations, while respecting the policy objectives set out in the Telecommunications Act.

The radio authorization process is one of the pillars of the spectrum management program and allows the Minister to manage the radio spectrum. Radio licensing ensures radio systems adhere to government policies and technical requirements. Licensing also helps to prevent harmful interference between stations.

Under the Radiocommunication Act, the Governor in Council may set fees for radio authorizationsFootnote1 . Fees for radio licences are set out in theRadiocommunication Regulations. The applicable fee is determined by the type of station licensed and the type of service used. In certain cases, the amount of radio frequency spectrum required or the number of frequencies assigned and the location of operations are also taken into account.

This circular may be used to assist in calculating radio licence fees as prescribed in the Radiocommunication Regulations, Part VIII, entitled "Fees".

A Multipoint Communication System (MCS) consists of either a fixed or mobile master radio station communicating on a one- or two-way basis with associated remote stations. The master station controls, activates or interrogates two or more remote sites and receives communications from these remote sites, or both. An MCS can be operated by a radiocommunication user or a radiocommunication service provider.

Fixed Wireless Access systems, also known as Wireless Local Loop Systems, are systems that connect subscribers to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) using radio signals as a substitute for copper for all or part of the connection between the subscriber and the switch. Fixed wireless access generally refers to the use of radio to provide access to a public telecommunications network for telephone and/or data services serving residential and business communities.

Licensing Principles

A transmitter and its associated receiver are generally located at the same site; however, if they are located at different sites they shall be considered as separate stations for licence fee purposes, and licensed accordingly.

Different radio sites are defined as locations that are more than 30 metres apart. In cases where the applicant has two installations on or in the same building, separated by more than 30 metres, Industry Canada will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether to issue one or two radio licences.

Duplicate facilities, when established at the same site for circuit protection purposes and which have the same frequency complement, shall not be subject to duplicate licences or fees. Facilities that are not duplicate for circuit protection but are considered to be on the same site will be charged the sum of the fees applicable to the complement of radio apparatus located at that site.

General Information

The following information applies to most types of radio licences:

  1. All radio apparatus must be licensed under the Radiocommunication Act unless it is only capable of receiving broadcasting or is exempted under the applicable standard of the Radiocommunication Regulations.
  2. There is a separate fee for each transmit and each receive frequency. The total licence fee is the sum of all of the individual fees for the station. This does not apply to mobile stations.
  3. Radio station licensees are to inform the Department of any changes they make to their radio station’s operating parameters, such as a change of location, frequency, power level, antenna height or pattern. They may also have to submit a revised application for further review by Industry Canada.
  4. There is no charge for a licence amendment if the location and type of service remain the same. If a licensee requests an amendment that results in a higher fee, the amendment fee is the difference between the original fee and the new fee.
  5. The date the Department authorizes the licence determines the monthly fee.
  6. Licence fees must be paid in full before the radio licence can be issued. Once issued, the licence is valid until its expiry date which, for all but short-term licences, is March 31. No portion of the licence fee is refundable.

Mobile Station

Table 5 — Example 2 — Fixed Station to Mobiles via a Repeater – Fee Summary
Frequency (MHz) Communicating
Channel Licence Fee Calculation
TX RX Annual Monthly /
160.0000 161.0000 fixed station 1 1 $41 $3.40


4.2.1 Land Mobile Systems

Fixed land mobile service stations authorized to use frequencies in the band 30-960 MHz and that communicate with subscriber stations are covered by system licensing. Fees are payable for each transmit and receive frequency installed in each fixed land mobile station and depending on their location within one of the above-mentionedcongestion zones. Radiocommunication Information Circular RIC-42, Guide for Calculating Radio Licence Fees, provides the information as to how to calculate radio licence fees for radiocommunication systems operating in the land mobile radio frequency bands.

4.3.1 Land Mobile Systems

Subscriber Mobile Stations — a separate radio station licence is required if the mobile station is:

  • (a) operating in the 30-50 MHz range with an effective radiated power (e.r.p.) of more than 60 watts (equivalent to a maximum field strength of 5.4 V/m measured at a distance of 10 metres); or
  • (b) operating in the 50-960 MHz range with an e.r.p. of more than 30 watts (equivalent to a maximum field strength of 3.8 V/m measured at a distance of 10 metres).
  • (c) utilizing frequencies assigned to an associated radiocommunication service provider, including “talk-around” frequencies, beyond the service provider’s licensed service area; or
  • (d) utilizing frequencies not assigned to its associated radiocommunication service provider.

Subscriber Base Stations (also called fixed or control stations) — a separate radio station licence is required if the station is:

  • (a) utilizing an internal antenna installation (i.e. an antenna located within a building) with an e.r.p. of more than 30 watts (equivalent to a maximum field strength of 3.8 V/m measured at a distance of 10 metres); or
  • (b) utilizing an external antenna installation (i.e. an antenna affixed to the exterior of a building), with a maximum height above ground level of 13.5 metres, and an e.r.p. of more than 10 watts (equivalent to a maximum field strength of 2.2 V/m measured at a distance of 10 metres).

Antenna heights greater than 13.5 metres, to a maximum of 30 metres above ground level, require e.r.p. (field strength) reductions of an order outlined in Annex B, which provides examples of various antenna heights with the associated maximum e.r.p. permitted.

4.3.2 Subscriber Station Operating Standards

To be eligible for system licensing, the radio equipment used by a subscriber must be issued a technical acceptance certificate (TAC) as outlined in the Radio Standards Procedure RSP-100, Radio Equipment Certification Procedure. This document specifies the procedural requirements and information to be submitted by an applicant wishing to obtain certification of radio equipment by the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada.

Note: A subscriber operating system-licensed stations remains subject to the Radiocommunication Regulations.